University of Wisconsin–Madison

About Posse

Group of studentsA “posse” is a small, diverse group of talented students, carefully selected and trained, to serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development.

University of Wisconsin-Madison was in 2002 the first major public research institution to launch this unique program. More than 500 Posse Scholars have been awarded merit scholarships to attend UW-Madison since the program’s inception.

Posse identifies leadership talent, ability to work in a team with people from diverse backgrounds, and a desire to succeed. Once selected, Posse Scholars enroll in a 32-week training program during their senior high school year. They arrive on campus academically prepared and motivated to foster positive social change.

Interesting Facts

  • Posse is one of the most comprehensive college access, diversity, and youth leadership development programs in the country.
  • It was founded in 1989.
  • Posse recruits, selects and trains public high school students and sends them to college in multicultural teams of 10 (“Posses”) to be a support network for each other and to be catalysts of change on campus.
  • Posse specializes in identifying nontraditional students who might be overlooked by the traditional admissions processes at selective colleges and universities.
  • To date, Posse has sent 7,734 students to college.
  • These Scholars have won over $1 billion in full-tuition, leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner colleges and universities.
  • Posse currently has 57 top-tier college and university partners.
  • Posse Scholars persist and graduate at a rate of 90 percent – well above the national average.
  • Posse is established in 10 cities (Atlanta, Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, D.C.).
  • On average, approximately 15,000 students are nominated each year for Posse Scholarships across the country.